Posted On: 03/30/19 8:00 AM
As we continue our AAU previews, we are going class-by-class in search of potential breakout seasons. This isn’t going to be based on AAU program, but rather five players who we think could either breakout or have a great year. A breakout can happen in many ways, grabbing your first DI offer, committing to an NAIA school after a flurry of solid tournaments, or quite simply just playing better than you ever have. While there are going to be quite a few breakout summers due to the sheer talent of players in the state, we are talking five players who we think could have the biggest breakout. First up, the 2020 guards.
Rose Nkumu – 5’8 PG – Iowa City High HS – Kingdom Hoops
Already on the board with six offers, Nkumu has some high major schools following her closely – and for good reason. The City High point guard scored 19 points a game last year while shooting over 50 percent from the floor. She also dished out 96 assists while only having 38 turnovers. That assist:turnover ratio alone shows us why she is receiving high major interest. Nkumu also grabbed 81 steals last year which was an average of just under four a game. The knock on Nkumu is her outside shooting, as she shot under 20 percent on the season. She caught our attention in the state tournament as she nailed 5-of-11 from deep en route to a 25-point performance. You know you’re getting a game manager and fantastic defender already, if she can get that perimeter shooting percentage up into the low 30s then she will be nearly unstoppable. I look for a huge summer from Nkumu running with Kingdom Hoops.
Katie Keitges – 5’8 SG – Knoxville HS – Beyond Ball
Keitges had a spectacular year this past high school season scoring 23.4 points a game. That left her sixth in the entire state in scoring the basketball. I think that she has the potential get even more efficient this summer. She has range out to the volleyball line (and beyond) but Keitges also has the ability to get to the rim and score the basketball. She’s quick with the ball and has the ability to turn the corner on a defender. She shot 30 percent from behind the arc, which isn’t bad, but I expect that percentage to go up this summer and get up close to 40 percent. Once that happens, her game will be close to unstoppable. A harassing defender, Keitges will be laying the ball in at the other end if you try and cross her over. She plays hard from the tip to the final buzzer and has grit and toughness that a lot of kids don’t. She recently received an offer from Texas Tech as her first DI offer, but has other high major interest. We expect her to have a breakout season and head into next year as someone who is a statewide name.
Presley Case – 5’5 PG – North Scott HS – Lady Martin Bros
Case probably doesn’t catch the attention of many due to her size and the fact that she doesn’t put up the gaudy numbers. She’s the real deal at point guard and is a force to be reckoned with. She is a player who just simply doesn’t turn the ball over. Her game is predicated on change of pace and getting the ball up the floor. Case’s vision with the ball is great and she plays with passion. You can tell that when she is on the floor, she wants to win. A true competitor, Case will lay her body on the line for a win. She averaged five assists a game this past season, and in the AAU scene you expect that average to skyrocket. While she has the ability to score the ball, she struggles shooting it at times. Working on that jumper will do wonders for her game, and allow her to be more of a playmaker. I think we will see a dynamic leader who is an improved scorer this summer within Case’s game.
Kallyn Stumbo – 5’8 G – Okoboji HS – All Iowa Attack (Carpenter)
Stumbo has the unique ability to pass her teammates open. She is a very willing passer of the ball but also has the versatility to play multiple spots on the floor. She has the quickness to play on the ball, but the scoring ability to play off the ball. Her length and size allow her to slide down and play on the wing as well if needed. She scored 16.5 points a game last season all while shooting just 25 percent from deep. We expect that to get better this season and she shouldn’t have a problem getting that average up into the thirties. Stumbo is the type of player who coaches hate to play against. Her ability to crash the passing lane and open up transition opportunities for others is second to none. Stumbo is also a tremendous rebounder as she averaged a double-double this past season. Stumbo is one of those players who is going to fill the stat sheet every night with points, assists, rebounds, and steals. There is going to be a college program that is lucky to gain her skillset.
Katlynn Tucker – 5’4 PG – Sioux City East HS – Iowa Select
Tucker might be the best shooter in the state that you have never heard of. She does have an odd looking shot, but it works for her and seems to be very repeatable. Last season she made 60-of-126 from behind the arc, good for a 47.6 shooting percentage. While she isn’t as dynamic as the other players on this list, Tucker is a better shooter than all of them. She doesn’t really shoot the ball inside the arc, but mostly patrols the perimeter and bangs them home off of the catch. Tucker needs to work on her playmaking for others but her shooting ability is going to be coveted at the next level. Her ability to get hot, and stay hot, is something that a small college is going to love about her. I think this summer she takes that next step forward and starting gaining that confidence to drive and dish to open shooters. Once Tucker shows that she has the ability to create for others around her, her recruiting will take off.
Rose Nkumu photo courtesy of the Press-Citizen.